The center became the 33rd player in NHL history to achieve 1,300
career points as his two assists helped San Jose dispatch the
Colorado Avalanche 6-1 in front of 17,424 at SAP Center.
The Sharks closed the pre-All-Star break portion of their schedule
by extending their streak to 10 straight games with at least one
Center Nathan MacKinnon converted Colorado's fifth power-play chance
of the game with his 17th goal at 11:35 of the third period to deny
Sharks goalie Martin Jones of his fifth shutout of the season.
Jones finished with 21 saves.
San Jose broke the game open with a pair of power-play strikes
within 50 seconds late in the second period.
A tripping penalty by Colorado defenseman Francois Beauchemin
compounded a boarding minor by Avalanche left winger Andreas
Martinsen 52 seconds earlier to give the hosts a two-man advantage.
It took San Jose 52 seconds to convert a five-on-three when Thornton
threaded a goalmouth feed to center Joe Pavelski, who potted his
25th goal of the season with a one-timer at 15:28.
Thornton's second assist of the game gave him 14 points over 10
games. He has at least one point in 18 of his last 19 outings --
five goals and 20 assists during that span.
Sharks right winger Joel Ward was credited with his 15th goal at
16:18 of the second period when he crashed the net and nudged the
puck past Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard for a 4-0 lead. Avalanche
defenseman Erik Johnson partially fanned on a clearing attempt that
struck teammate Nick Holden's skate and bounced back toward the net.
The Sharks dominated the opening period, scoring the only two goals
and outshooting the Avalanche 9-6 in the process.
Defenseman Brent Burns' high shot from the right point glanced off
of left winger Melker Karlsson in front to account for the first
goal. Karlsson's sixth goal of the season at 6:19 represented the
second in four games produced by the Sharks' fourth line.
San Jose took advantage of a turnover by Johnson almost four minutes
later to double its lead.
Left winger Tomas Hertl gathered a rebound of a loose puck following
a shot by defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and backhanded his 10th
goal of the season behind Pickard at 10:13.
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Thornton extended his point streak to 10 games with the second
assist. It was his stick at the blue line that forced Johnson into
the turnover to start the sequence. Thornton hadn't scored in 10
straight since Nov. 14-Dec. 3, 2009.
Sharks defenseman Paul Martin scored his second goal of the season
at 8:21 of the third period after Colorado coach Patrick Roy pulled
backup goalie Roman Will at 7:13. Will was making his NHL debut in
relief of starter Calvin Pickard, who played the first two periods.
San Jose rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo capped the scoring with his
first career goal -- a power-play strike at 19:03.
NOTES: RW Dainius Zubrus returned to the lineup after missing nine
consecutive games due to an upper-body injury. Zubrus took Mike
Brown's spot on the fourth line. ... While the Sharks played their
final game before the All-Star break, the Avalanche play Wednesday
in Los Angeles before starting their break. ... With G Semyon
Varlamov in Denver to attend to legal matters stemming from a
domestic dispute charge in 2013 that was dropped, G Roman Will was
promoted from San Antonio of the AHL to back up G Calvin Pickard.
... Colorado continues to play without injured D Brad Stuart (back),
C Ben Street (chest) and G Reto Berra (ankle). ... Colorado C
Mikhail Grigorenko was ill, while D Nate Guerin and D Andrew
Bodnarchuk were healthy scratches. RW Chris Wagner took Grigorenko's
spot in the lineup. RW Mike Brown and D Matt Tennyson were healthy
scratches for San Jose.
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